Mariposas well hidden | Wild Camping



6 months ago
3215.7 masl


Natural Source
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Driving up for the mariposa attraction (before 17:00 (5pm)), you'll pass the guard at the 'entrance' right off the paved main road. He wants a fee for 'parking', but overnight camping anywhere is OK. Higher up, you'll pass the waypoint for this spot; right after that you'll see a meadow on your right. The middle has the best sun exposure, both at sunset and the morning.

Further up the road (the next day?) is the real entrance to the butterfly reserve and the parking lot you've paid the guard for.

No cell coverage.


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It’s a nice place, but don’t expect to be alone here.
I arrived on a thursday afternoon. There were people at the entry of the gravel road from the tarmac road, they waved and talked to me, but nobody wanted a fee.
On the meadow there are several nice places. The most sunlight you’ll get in the middle.
I’ve been there for three nights and there were people all the time. Chainsaws, Families hanging out, a shepherd etc. They were all friendly, just waved and said Buenos Dias.
Definitely good for some nights, but don’t expect to be alone in the wild. It’s not Canada.

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parking fee at the entrance is 130 PpC, the place ist huge 800m before the Main trail entrance, lots of space for quite and cold nights, sometimes cows, sheeps, nobody else will disturb you, stay as long as you want for the fee,
trail entrance 80PpP each day
For Truckcampers becare of all the Roads, Navigation Systems always to the mountains, Park El Rosario is not possible for us an this Park is also difficult to find.
we went out El Oro de Hildago 19.797978, -100.13824 and than follow "National" go out 19.647828, -100.126037, streets are more or less ok, few bumps, more potholes

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Stayed there 2 nights, class c 24 ft. Amazing spot, keep it clean please! Left the vehicule a few hours during the visit of monarca sanctuary without problem.

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This spot was wonderful! We stayed two nights and it was super quiet. We felt safe, left our car for a couple hours when we walked up to see the butterflies. It’s a short walk from the field to the park entrance, very practical. We arrived shortly before 17:00 and no one asked us to pay coming up the road but we were able to make it to the field and camp. Herds of sheep and cows come through to graze during the day and a friendly dog came and joined us around a fire.

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Perfect beautiful little meadow for camping before going next morning to see the monarchs.
When we came back from our hike there was a herd of sheep licking tthe salt off of our truck! Guess it was still dirty from our drive south😁
Woke to frost
Be sure to look at the stars at night, and take a walk down to the creek to see the salamanders

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really a beautifull place, we stayed here for 2 quiet nights with one other van. cold when the sun is down on this height. next day we left our van on the field ( felt safe and was oké) and walked a few minutes to the entrance of the butterfly sanctuary ( 80 pesos entree fee pp). than you climb 2,5 km on a good hiking path or take a horse to see the milion of mariposas.

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Beautiful place! was very creative on how to get us here. If you are driving from Guanajuato/ similar direction, make sure to take the road up here from Santa Maria!

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nice secluded place to spend the night.
it was cold but we had a good night sleep.
we saw monarch butterflies in the morning

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This spot is a pretty large meadow. We hoped for solitude but found two overlander vehicles (and a Canadian-size fire) already there. We used 4x4 low gear on a horse track and went to the far end of the meadow where we made ourselves invisible to the others.

Private and quiet (but chilly: 3000+ meters altitude).

Left our vehicle and hiked up to the entrance for the butterflies, came back, cooked a meal, basked in the sun and spent a second night.

Paid the guard at the lower entrance MXN 50 (for two nights).

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Amazing place, definetly one of the best spots we have been on Mexico mainland - beautiful and hidden, good to visit the butterflies next morning. No Telcel signal.
A pity there is so much toilet paper, please burn it or take it with you.
Highly recommended.

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Spent 2 wonderful nights here (before & after the butterflies), and honestly it was one of our favourite campsites in mainland Mexico thus far!

We arrived around 6pm and there was no one at the first gate (where others mentioned they camped near a military post), so we drove through without paying for parking or seeing anyone. It was easy to find a level spot next to the bushes in the large meadow, and although it did get chilly, we were super comfortable and undisturbed all night. The second day, we pulled in around 3pm after lunch and set up our table & chairs outside. We spoke to a few vaqueros who were very friendly & happy for us to park there, and a few hours later, the Michoacán police drove by and waved to us. Seems to be a very safe, beautiful, convenient campsite and our only regret is that we couldn’t stay longer!


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stayed here after seeing the mariposa earlier that day. save, secluded and peaceful. you're at 3200m so be aware it gets cold at night!

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We stay here one night we ask the guy in charge (El comisionado ) if it was ok to stay over night and he said no problem told us to stay close to the main entrance. They close the gate at 5 pm best time to see the butterflies is from 12 to 3pm on sunny days.

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Stayed in the big meadow which is a few 100 yards before reaching the main parking lot (on the right). The $50 parking fee allowed us to stay and camp. We spent 2 nights here. A bit chilly but not bad.
You can also stay in the main parking lot - but the meadow is better!

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Very beautiful and quiet camping on a big meadow in the forest. Camping here is free, but you have to pay an entrance fee of 50 Peso per car. The dirtroad to the Monarch Sanctuary is in good shape. The hike to the monarch grove is km with 200 m elevation gain. It is well marked and easy to follow. We did not take a guide, no problem. The view, photo opportunities and experience of the butterflies here is much better than in El Rosario. There is a forest opening with millions of butterflies flying and sitting on the ground, in the trees and bushes. You have a very good unblocked view and you get very close to the butterflies (so add a wide angle lens to you telephoto). You can also follow the trail in the forest to get the same kind of butterlfies hanging in the trees like in El Rosario. Best time to arrive at the monarch grove is around 10 to 11 am because there are only view visitors and the light is much better than in the afternoon. After 1.30 pm it got very crowded.

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Nice place, it was not free but rather 80 MEX to enter the roadway where it turns off from the main road.

The meadow was pretty, there was lots of cows and the stream which my dog loved is largely cow turds.

It was not very private on a Sunday night, 4 or so Mexican trucks used the roadway up past the meadow. Everyone was friendly though.

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Beautiful place to camp ! Accessible for big RV, dirt road but no need for a 4x4
Wake up early if you want to enjoy the calm of butterflies.

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Tranquille et pratique pour voir les papillons. 2km de marche jusqu’au sanctuaire. 50 pesos la nuit, prix de l’entrée du parking.

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very good and quiet spot in the middle of nowere. we stay here x2 night in the meadow. Some monarca fly over the meadow. Cold night under 0°C

From here there is a short hike (1-2km) to reach the sanctuary. Take the trail that go to the left direction under the wood. we had left our van here, during the sanctuary visit.

we arrive here after 5pm so we don't pai the first gate (45pesos) because there was nobody.

At the sanctuary, it's 50pesos, and you have an official guide (you have to)
the visit was very nice. we see a thousand of buterfly . and the guide show us the colony in the tree.

we gave him 40pesos tip.

very nice experience . and very cool spot to stay a few day, relaxing in the meadow

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Very nice place, safe, quiet. Stayed two nights. After the first night we went in our car to the end of the road to the big parking area. We started the hike around 9:45am. Entrance costs 45 pp and includes the mandatory guide. The walk is easy and takes around 45 minutes. On busy days (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) you will rest at the center of butterfly colony around 20 minutes, on the other days around 30 minutes. The guide will expect a tip at the end. We returned from the hike around 12:15, had some lunch at the El Cazador (very good chicken soup, quesadillas, soft drink for 90 pp), and returned to the overnight place on the meadow.

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Awesome private spot in an open meadow. It loses the sun quickly though. There is a stream running through it and fire rings. There are sheep and cows grazing so pets might not suit this site. No cellphone reception.

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nous avons passé une nuit ici sur ce parking au milieu de la forêt . la journée par beau temps , les papillons volent au dessus de nos têtes ici .
partis vers 9 h ,revenus vers 13 h en prenant beaucoup de temps . ballade sans guide pour nous , suivre le chemin des chevaux , continuer jusqu'à un grand espace les chevaux s'arrêtent et rattraper le sentier pour promeneurs .
D'après les locaux ce secteur est plus impressionnant et plus sauvage que l'autre à douze kms.
Ici le parking est gratuit , pas de soucis pour nous . il y a des policiers qui cheack tout le monde à l'entrée du chemin deux kms plus bas .
Nous avons fait un feux , fait autour de 2 ° la nuit voir plus bas .
Quelques restaurant bons marchés et bonnes quesadillas ...
Superbe moments ici ;)

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Very nice hidden place where we stayd quite. if you come from below there goes a narrow path to a large Meadow.

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